by Robert Graff, Esq., ELI-MP
When so much of your life is dedicated to advocating for others, it’s easy to forget that you also deserve a fulfilling, healthy, and passion-filled life. But you really do.
Just take a moment and imagine how it would feel if you actually enjoyed going to work again, and if you felt more in control of and less victimized by your day. How would it feel if you woke up every morning excited to start a new day, as opposed to feeling exhausted and defeated before you even get out of bed?
It is possible to create the life you want as an attorney; you simply have to figure out what would make you happy, make positive choices, and go after the things you want. To help get you started, here are five steps you can take right away to begin creating the fulfilling life you deserve:
1. Identify exactly what you want out of life
In order to create a better life for yourself, you first have to get crystal clear on exactly what it is you want. Begin by asking yourself the following questions:
– What do I really want out of my career?
– What would make me feel intellectually fulfilled?
– What do I want for my personal relationships?
– What do I want for my mental and physical wellbeing?
– What is my unique gift that I want to share with the world?
– How can I live my life so I’m always being my authentic self?
Sit with these questions for as long as it takes until you find the answers that feel right.
2. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need.
We all need a little help from time to time, so a big part of creating the life you want is finding the courage to ask for what you need. Remember, no matter how close your fellow attorneys, family, and friends are to you, no one can read your mind. That’s why it’s your responsibility to speak up and get your needs met.
For example, if you still have to finish a Memorandum that’s due tomorrow for one partner, but another partner approaches you with an additional assignment, rather than taking it and not saying anything, you could try saying something like:
“John, I am almost finished with this Memorandum for Bill which is due tomorrow. So that I may give your work 100% of my attention, would it be all right if I begin the project first thing tomorrow morning?”
3. Improve your relationships with others.
Your relationships with others directly influence your overall life satisfaction, so strive to improve them whenever possible. For starters, always look for the good in people, praise them whenever you can, and keep judgmental remarks and thoughts to a minimum. Smile when you say good morning to your colleagues and act genuinely happy to see them. You may have to fake it until you make it at first, but your personal and professional relationships will improve dramatically, and you’ll feel much more positively about yourself and your life.
4. Don’t be afraid to walk away from a problem.
The truth is, you don’t have to solve every problem you encounter. Sometimes the best course of action is to walk away from a situation after concluding that it’s not in your best interest to stick around to problem solve.
However, it’s important to note that walking away from a problem is not the same thing as avoiding a problem. When you walk away you make a positive, conscious choice to disengage. When you practice avoidance, you’re reacting to a problem in a negative and unproductive manner, which isn’t going to help you create a happier, more fulfilling life.
5. Invite more goodness into your life.
One of my favorite ways to improve your quality of life is to invite more goodness into your world. Begin with small improvements, like getting the rest you need to energize your day, getting more exercise, and learning simple stress management skills. You’ll be amazed at what a dramatic effect small, positive changes will have on your life.
Robert Graff is the President of The Graff Standard and one of its coaches. The Graff Standard partners with professionals so that they can lead more fulfilling and successful lives both at work and at home. Find out more about both Robert and The Graff Standard at www.graffstandard.com or follow The Graff Standard on twitter @graffstandard.